Urbandale, IA – Iowa small business leaders met today at the Machine Shed Restaurant to discuss the impact of the 2020 health insurance tax, or HIT, on small businesses, their employees, farmers, seniors on Medicare and middle-income families. Small businesses leaders expressed concerns about the impact of the HIT on Iowa small businesses, their employees and the self-employed if the tax is not delayed immediately.
“As the president of a Chamber of Commerce, I am concerned on behalf of my 500+ member businesses and their employees,” said Maureen Miller, President/CEO, Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce. “Rising insurance costs have affected us at the chamber and many businesses are facing difficult decisions that need to be made in determining how to allocate our revenues – which are not increasing at the same rate.”
The HIT is a federal sales tax on health insurance plans purchased by small business owners, the self-employed, and workers who receive their health care coverage through an employer. Without action by Congress immediately to delay the tax for 2020, Iowa small business owners and seniors on Medicare will be hit with higher health insurance premiums as they renew their coverage next year.
A bipartisan group of Congress recently introduced the “Healthcare Insurance Tax Relief Act,” a bill in the U.S. Senate that would delay implementation of the HIT tax for 2020 and 2021. The effort to prevent a tax hike in the form of the HIT has been a top priority for small businesses and the employer community, from the hospitality industry to the agricultural sector.
“As a small business owner, I have seen costs rise across the board, and it’s been hard to keep up. For many business owners, health care costs, fueled in part by things like the HIT tax, are one of the fastest rising costs, eating up a good chunk of my budget,” said Jacqueline Riekena, Managing Partner, La Paris Est 1869. “I want to provide good health care for my employees, but I don’t know how much longer I can do so. I hope that Senators Grassley and Ernst and Congresswoman Axne realize how much the HIT tax hurts small businesses in Iowa and quickly work with their colleagues in Congress to pass a delay of this harmful tax for 2020.”
Iowa is home to more than 267,730 small businesses, which employ more than 646,520 Iowa workers. A study by Oliver Wyman shows that Iowa families in the small employer market could be faced with $412 on average in higher premiums in 2020 as a result of the HIT. Absent Congressional action to delay the HIT, this tax is estimated to disproportionately impact 142 million Americans, particularly those earning an income between $10,000 and $50,000.
The Stop The HIT Coalition represents the nation’s small business owners, their employees and the self-employed who are actively working to repeal the Health Insurance Tax. Since the Coalition’s formation in 2011, it has grown to include more than 35 national organizations, representing millions of small business owners across the country. For more information, please visit www.StopTheHIT.com.